Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, Tuesday of Week One of Advent

December 2 - Monday of Week One of Advent
December 2 - Monday of Week One of Advent
December 2 - Monday of Week One of Advent

Heather Poast in a "easy seat."
I started taking yoga classes again about a month ago. I normally go to spinning class at Revolution Fitness on Monday mornings and Heather Poast started teaching that class. I liked Heather's teaching style & was hooked when she played Bruce Hornsby toward the end of the class.

Heather invited spinning class participants to come to her Tuesday morning hot yoga class. I was kinda intimidated because I hadn't practiced yoga in many years and I didn't want to look like a fool. On the other hand, I was looking for a less aerobic workout to add to my weekly exercise discipline. I was also looking for a means to regain some flexibility and re-connect my physicality with my spirituality. So, I started going to yoga on Tuesday mornings.

I absolutely love the class even though it's one of the most strenuous workouts I accomplish. I've got to know Heather just a little bit better and, like with the spinning, I appreciate how she makes me think about what I'm physically doing and what is my intention for each motion, each breath, each calorie that I'm burning.

Heather writes a blog named "Have a Namaste." Her posts let readers quickly know that yoga for her means alot more than just working out. Yoga informs how she lives her life. Yoga shapes how she eats, why she works at the jobs she work at, and why she truly "shines" the way she does. Most Westerners think that yoga is just another way to burn 750-1000 calories in an hour. True yogis and yoginis know that Yoga is a centuries old discipline that practitioners use to mutually and intentionally benefit their bodies, minds, and souls alike.

This should be the best intention of any religious practice, whether it be Hindu yoga or Christian Daily Prayer during Advent. We re-connect to The Divine and ourselves when we establish a disciplined and rhythmic practice of prayer and motion.  Franciscan priest, teacher, and mystic, Fr. Richard Rohr (2012) recently said  that most world religions seek to teach their believers that each person’s  ultimate purpose and reason for existence is to create union with God and all things. This is the simple goal of our existence. Rohr quite boldly says; "If your religion is not helping you to do that, then you’d better get a new religion."

Religion is something we practice and enjoy when we decide we desire to be healthier and in closer relationship with ourselves, God, and one another. It is in Advent, (December) for Christians when we can actively seek our Christ's arrival in any number of ways. Contemplative persons may light candles, breathe and watch. Students may gaze out past frosty windows and ponder what it means for God's life and Word to dwell with us once more. I don't know. For me, at least today, it's getting up early in the morning and driving across Cincinnati to sweat, stretch, and spend time with Heather and a few other people who inhale through their noses and exhale rather profusely out of their mouths while balancing on one foot. I don't get too embarrassed if I look unsteady or even clumsy. Heather doesn't seem to care. She keeps encouraging me. I receive her support as one way of God inviting me to continue showing up in my relationships with Christ, people I relate to, and myself. What will play and prayer look like for you as the days shorten and the opportunities for you to more deeply understand why you are here and what union with God looks like for you, now and in the days yet to unfold.

Blessings Along The Way, Jim+ 


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